A 41-year old farmer, Kwabena Anokye from Mampamhwe in the Obuasi East District has been adjudged the District Best Farmer for the year 2020 which also marks the 36th edition of the National Farmers’ day celebration at a ceremony held in Asonkore in the Obuasi East District.
Mr. Anokye who is physically challenged has engaged in farming for 25 years, producing crops and livestock. He has previously won awards like Best Maize Farmer and Best PWD Cocoa Farmer in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
For his prize, Mr. Kwabena Anokye took home a tricycle, 32inches Led Television, a Knapsack Spraying Machine, Cutlasses, a Piece of Cloth and a Certificate of Merit, all sponsored by AngloGold Ashanti Obuasi Mine.
The award winner who could not hide his excitement thanked the Agriculture Department for their good relationship with farmers in the District and commended the Organizers of the program for the tremendous work.
He then appealed to all persons with disabilities to take advantage of the Government plethora of intervention measures to boost Agriculture in the District and also urged them to develop interest in farming since it is lucrative. “Disability is not inability”, the physically challenged award winner opined.
Addressing the enthusiastic audience, the Member of Parliament for Obuasi East Constituency, Hon. Patrick Boakye-Yiadom posited that there was enough food supply during the lockdown as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country because of good policies introduced by the NPP led government.
He said the NPP government has taken bold steps towards positioning agriculture as the engine of growth for the Ghanaian economy by introducing policies like, Planting for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development (PERD), free distribution of day-old chicks to poultry farmers, 28% increase in cocoa prices and distribution of oil palm seedlings to farmers.
Hon. Boakye-Yiadom said all these policies are in the right direction to support and make agriculture very attractive. He then commended all farmers for their contribution in developing the country.
In her keynote address Honourable Faustina Amissah, the District Chief Executive (DCE) for Obuasi East District Assembly acknowledged the gallant farmers and fishermen in the district for working tirelessly day and night in order to produce for both industrial and human consumption.
Touching on this year’s theme for the celebration “Ensuring Agribusiness Development Under Covid-19 Opportunities and Challenges” Hon. Amissah said this year’s theme for the celebration is thought-provoking and has been carefully chosen to reflect the covid-19 pandemic situation and its tremendous impact on agribusiness.
She touched on some challenges that the covid-19 pandemic has offered to farmers including; Lack of input supply which has brought significant adverse effects on the production of agriculture products, lack of labour to work in the farms and again a decreased capacity of financial institutions to provide support to agribusiness.
The DCE then mentioned few opportunities that the covid-19 pandemic has brought as increased supply and consumption of local foods indigenous products which result in the self-sufficiency of the country’s supply chain, eating of more fruits and vegetables which our health expects stressed on as means of boosting our immune system which help in curtailing the covid-19 pandemic in our system, this she said gave our farmers a very huge opportunity to increase the production of priority fruits and vegetables in the country.
Hon. Faustina Amissah added that 2,355 farmers in the Obuasi East District benefitted from the distribution of fertilizers and 25,696 oil palm seedlings were distributed.
She took the opportunity to preach peace ahead of the 7th December General Elections “I strongly wish to urge all and sundry herein gathered to be ambassadors of absolute peace and let us set another global record for our dear country” she advised.
The District Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) Mr. Victor Owusu-Ansah said the lesson of covid-19 has created a new sense of awareness about building strong food system that ensures resilience and over dependence on food imports.
He added that farmers in the district have been educated on the value chain concept to help link the various actors that is; producers, processors, marketers and input dealers and also an educational forum on Planting for Food and Jobs were also carried.
Mr. Owusu-Ansah encouraged farmers being honored this year to work hard to contest for regional and national awards in future.
Mr. Kwabena Dormah of Diawuoso and Madam Abiba of Aboagyekrom took the 2nd and 3rd prizes respectively. In all 20 competitive farmers were awarded by the Assembly.
The former MCE for Obuasi Municipal Assembly Hon. Richard Ofori Agyemang Boadi, the District Coordinating Director for Obuasi East Mr. Emmanuel Ntoso, Chiefs, the Clergy, Members of Security Services, Assembly Members, and the Media were all present to grace occasion.